Chicken And Dumplings Recipe: Cracker Barrel’s Delight

The aroma of Cracker Barrel’s Chicken and Dumplings is a symphony of flavours that has long held its place in comfort food royalty. Let me take you on a culinary journey through the heart of this cherished recipe. Picture tender chunks of seasoned chicken nestled in a rich, herb-infused broth adorned with pillowy dumplings that practically melt in your mouth. This timeless classic from Cracker Barrel has etched its mark for a reason, weaving memories of warmth and satisfaction. Join me as we delve into the secrets of recreating this beloved dish, celebrating its popularity and the unbeatable reputation it carries. Let’s embark on a delightful adventure in the realm of homemade comfort.

Chicken and Dumplings


  • Chicken
  • Vegetables
  • Chicken Broth
  • Herbs and Spices
  • All-Purpose Flour

1. Chicken: Start with 1.5 to 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for optimal tenderness.

2. Vegetables: Gather 1 cup of diced onions, 1/2 cup of sliced carrots, and 1/2 cup of chopped celery for a flavorful base.

3. Chicken Broth: Use 4 cups of high-quality chicken broth to form the soul of your dish.

4. Herbs and Spices: Season generously with 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 bay leaf, salt, and pepper to taste.

5. AllPurpose Flour: Prepare 1 cup of all-purpose flour for coating the chicken and thickening the Broth.

6. Dumpling Ingredients: Combine 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, 2/3 cup of milk, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter for the perfect dumplings.

Emphasis on Using Fresh and Quality Ingredients

1. Chicken Quality: Opt for fresh, high-quality chicken to ensure a succulent and tasty result.

2. Fresh Vegetables: Choose crisp and vibrant vegetables, as they contribute to the overall freshness of the dish.

3. Herbs and Spices: Use fresh herbs if possible, or ensure that your dried herbs are not past their prime for maximum flavour.

4. Flour Selection: Select a good-quality all-purpose flour for coating the chicken and making the dumplings.

5. Dairy Freshness: If using milk and butter, ensure they are fresh to enhance the richness of the dumplings.

Crafting the Heart of the Dish – Preparing the Chicken

Picture this: a well-prepped chicken, ready to soak up all the flavours. Begin by rinsing the chicken thoroughly under cold water. Remove any excess fat or unwanted bits. Pat it dry with paper towels to ensure a clean canvas for your culinary masterpiece. Once cleaned, cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks, ensuring uniform pieces for consistent cooking.

Seasoning the Chicken with Specific Spices

Now, let’s infuse that chicken with a burst of flavour. Toss the chicken chunks in a bowl with salt, pepper, and aromatic dried thyme. The goal here is to create a harmonious blend that permeates every bite. Please don’t be shy with the seasoning; it’s the secret to transforming your chicken into a star player in the dish.

Sautéing the Chicken Until Golden Brown

Time to add a touch of golden perfection to your seasoned chicken. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil shimmers, carefully place the chicken chunks into the pan. Sauté them until they achieve a glorious golden brown colour. This step not only seals in the flavours but also adds a delightful layer of texture to your Chicken and Dumplings.

Mastering the art of chicken preparation sets the stage for a truly delectable dining experience with your homemade Chicken and Dumplings.

Crafting Liquid Gold – Perfecting the Broth

Let’s dive into the soul of our dish – the Broth. Begin by acquiring high-quality chicken stock. Whether homemade or store-bought, opt for a stock that sings with rich chicken flavour. Pour the stock into a large pot, creating the foundation for the savoury elixir that will elevate your Chicken and Dumplings to new heights.

Adding Vegetables and Herbs for Enhanced Taste

Elevate the flavour profile of your Broth by introducing a medley of vegetables and herbs. Toss in diced onions, sliced carrots, and chopped celery, creating a symphony of tastes. Add a bay leaf and a generous pinch of salt to intensify the aromatic bouquet. These additions will infuse your Broth with layers of complexity and depth.

Simmering the Broth to Perfection

The magic happens as you bring the pot to a gentle simmer. Allow the Broth to embrace and marry the flavours, extracting the essence from the vegetables and herbs. This slow dance ensures that every spoonful of your Chicken and Dumplings sings with the harmonious blend of a well-simmered broth. Patience is the key to achieving a broth that beckons with warmth and richness.

Crafting a flawless broth is an art that transforms your dish into a culinary masterpiece – a testament to the allure of homemade Chicken and Dumplings.

Crafting Clouds of Delight – Dumplings Unveiled

Enter the world of dumplings, where clouds of goodness await. In a mixing bowl, combine the essentials: all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, milk, and melted butter. Stir them together until they form a soft, slightly sticky dough. This dough is the canvas for the dumplings that will soon float atop your simmering pot of delight.

Forming the Dumplings and Ensuring the Right Consistency

Now comes the hands-on part. Sprinkle a bit of flour on a clean surface to prevent sticking. Take a spoonful of the dough and gently shape it into a ball. The key is to strike the right balance—soft yet sturdy. Your goal is dumplings that hold their shape during cooking while remaining tender and fluffy inside. Consistency is the secret ingredient.

Keeping the Dumplings Ready for Cooking

With your dumplings formed, it’s time to prep them for their culinary debut. Assemble them on a plate, keeping them separate to prevent sticking. These little pillows are now ready to plunge into the simmering Broth. They are the crowning glory, transforming a humble soup pot into a hearty feast.

Mastering the art of dumpling preparation is like creating edible clouds, adding a touch of whimsy to your Chicken and Dumplings experience.

The Culmination – Where Magic Unfolds in the Pot

The stage is set; it’s time for the star of the show to make its entrance. Gently place the seasoned chicken into the simmering Broth. Allow the fragrant Broth to embrace the chicken, creating a symphony of flavours. This step marks the union of the savoury Broth and the seasoned chicken, laying the foundation for a hearty and satisfying dish.

Carefully Place the Dumplings in the Broth

Now, it’s the dumplings’ turn to join the culinary ballet. Carefully lower each dumpling into the Broth, ensuring they don’t stick together. These little clouds of goodness will absorb the savoury essence of the Broth while puffing up to perfection. The pot transforms into a canvas where dumplings and chicken coalesce, promising a texture-rich dining experience.

Monitoring and Adjusting the Heat for Optimal Cooking

As the pot bubbles with anticipation, assume the role of the maestro. Keep a watchful eye on the heat, adjusting it as needed. Maintain a gentle simmer; too vigorous a boil may compromise the dumplings’ texture. This vigilant cooking process ensures that chicken and dumplings reach their pinnacle of perfection, ready to grace your table.

The cooking process is the crescendo in your culinary symphony, where the Chicken and Dumplings reach their zenith of flavour and tenderness.

The Grand Finale – Presenting Your Culinary Masterpiece

The moment has arrived to share your creation with eager taste buds. Take a spoon and carefully scoop the simmered harmony of chicken, dumplings, and Broth into individual serving bowls. Ensure each bowl receives a generous portion, promising a comforting and satisfying dining experience.

Garnishing with Fresh Herbs for Presentation

Elevate the visual appeal of your dish by adding a touch of freshness. Sprinkle a handful of freshly chopped herbs over the Chicken and Dumplings. Whether it’s parsley, chives, or cilantro, these vibrant greens enhance the presentation and add flavour, turning a simple meal into a feast for the senses.

Highlighting the Importance of Serving Hot

As you prepare to serve, underscore the golden rule: serve hot! There’s something magical about the steam rising from a bowl of piping-hot Chicken and Dumplings. The warmth intensifies the flavours, ensuring each bite is a comforting embrace. Promptly serve the dish to preserve its delicious allure and provide an unforgettable dining experience.

Serving the dish is not just about delivering a meal; it’s the culmination of your culinary prowess, ready to be savoured and celebrated by all who gather around the table for your homemade Chicken and Dumplings.

Mastering the Art – Tips for Perfect Chicken and Dumplings

The secret to an extraordinary Chicken and Dumplings is the dance of flavours at every step. Pay meticulous attention to seasoning, ensuring each stage—be it the initial seasoning of the chicken or the final touch on the Broth—receives the perfect blend of salt, pepper, and herbs. This ensures a harmonious flavour profile that captivates with every spoonful.

Adjusting Cooking Times Based on Preferences

Every cook’s kitchen is a unique stage, and preferences vary. Keep a flexible mindset when it comes to cooking times. If you prefer tender, fall-off-the-bone chicken, extend the simmering time. A shorter cooking time might be the key if you lean towards dumplings with a bit more bite. Adjusting cooking times allows you to tailor the dish to your tastes.

Testing Dumplings for Doneness Before Serving

Dumplings are the heart of this dish, and their doneness is non-negotiable. Before declaring your masterpiece ready to serve, perform a simple test. Insert a toothpick or fork into a dumpling; it should come out clean. This ensures that the dumplings are fully cooked and ready to absorb the flavours of the Broth, providing that delightful, fluffy texture.

With these tips, you’re not just cooking; you’re orchestrating a symphony of flavours and textures, ensuring your Chicken and Dumplings are nothing short of perfection.

Unleashing Creativity – Elevating Your Chicken and Dumplings

Don’t be afraid to let your creativity bloom in the kitchen. Consider customizing your Chicken and Dumplings by adding extra vegetables. Whether it’s colourful bell peppers, sweet corn, or earthy mushrooms, these additions bring visual appeal and new flavour and nutrition dimensions to your beloved dish.

Pairing Chicken and Dumplings with Complementary Side Dishes

Elevate your dining experience by considering thoughtful pairings. While Chicken and Dumplings shine independently, consider accompanying them with complementary side dishes. A crisp green salad, buttery mashed potatoes, or even a side of steamed asparagus can add a delightful contrast and turn your meal into a well-rounded feast.

Exploring Variations, Such as Using Different Herbs or Spices

Unleash your inner culinary explorer by experimenting with herbs and spices. Try rosemary or sage instead of the usual thyme for a unique twist. Consider incorporating spices like paprika or cumin to add warmth. These variations can infuse your Chicken and Dumplings with diverse and exciting flavours, making each rendition a culinary adventure.

These additional ideas open the door to endless possibilities, letting you tailor your Chicken and Dumplings to suit your tastes and preferences and making every cooking session a delightful journey of culinary exploration.


Can I use pre-made dumplings for the Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings recipe?

While you can use store-bought dumplings, making them from scratch enhances the authenticity and flavour of the Cracker Barrel experience.

Can I substitute chicken breasts for thighs in the Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings recipe?

You can use chicken breasts, but thighs are recommended for a juicier and more flavorful result.

How can I make the Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings recipe gluten-free?

Substitute all-purpose flour with a gluten-free alternative to make the dumplings and the Broth gluten-free.

Is it okay to use chicken broth from a can instead of making it from scratch for this recipe?

Using high-quality store-bought chicken broth is a convenient alternative without compromising the flavour.

Can I freeze the Cracker Barrel chicken and dumplings leftovers for later?

Yes, you can freeze leftovers, but storing the dumplings separately is recommended to maintain their texture when reheating.


In conclusion, mastering the art of crafting the renowned Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings involves a meticulous journey through each recipe step. From the initial seasoning of chicken to the careful placement of fluffy dumplings into the simmering Broth, every detail contributes to the symphony of flavours. Tips for perfection guide the process, emphasizing proper seasoning, flexible cooking times, and ensuring dumplings are cooked to perfection. Additional ideas invite creativity, allowing for customizations with extra vegetables, thoughtful pairings, and various herbs and spices explorations. The result is a culinary masterpiece, a comforting dish that captivates with its richness, warmth, and authenticity.

Join the Culinary Adventure – Your Invitation to Cracker Barrel Delight

Embark on a culinary journey by trying the Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings recipe. The joy lies in the delightful outcome and the immersive experience of crafting a beloved dish from scratch. Gather your ingredients, follow the steps enthusiastically, and savour a homemade masterpiece’s rewards.

Sharing Experiences and Variations on Social Media

Once you’ve conquered the recipe, share your triumphs and unique twists on social media platforms. Let the world join in your culinary celebration, whether it’s a snapshot of your beautifully ladled Chicken and Dumplings or a description of your creative variations. Engage with others who have taken on the challenge and inspire a community of home chefs.

Inviting Feedback and Suggestions for Future Recipes

Your culinary journey is a collaborative adventure. Invite feedback and suggestions from fellow cooking enthusiasts. Embrace the opportunity to learn from others’ experiences and discover new twists to enhance the Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings or explore entirely new recipes. Your kitchen becomes a dynamic hub for culinary creativity, driven by shared passion and a quest for delicious discoveries.

Your invitation is extended – step into the kitchen, share your triumphs, and join a community that celebrates the joy of cooking, all centred around the beloved Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings recipe.

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